Jubilee, boats, rain and ‘the shared life’.

The Queen’s Jubilee was for me an experience of waving at people on boats in the rain and then staying at home to watch TV of other people in the rain.


Among all this I was struck by Rowan Williams’s sermon for thanksgiving for the Queen’s 60 years of service since her coronation.  He talked about the ‘…recognition that we live less than human lives if we think just of our own individual good.’

He is drawing attention to simple and rarely remarked upon idea that we find the meaning and value of our lives only in relation to other people.

 I like the idea that being human is about being turned out from ourselves towards others. It is a key part of having good encounters and conversations, especially with those who have different views of the world from our own. There is a link here to the growing importance among students of having good dialogue between people of different faiths (see also the posts about Alain de Botton).

Rowan Williams also suggests that the ‘shared life’ is transforming.

‘Moralists (archbishops included) can thunder away as much as they like; but they’ll make no difference unless and until people see that there is something transforming and exhilarating about the prospect of a whole community rejoicing together – being glad of each other’s happiness and safety. This alone is what will save us from the traps of ludicrous financial greed, of environmental recklessness, of collective fear of strangers and collective contempt for the unsuccessful and marginal – and many more things that we see far too much of, around us and within us.’

The whole sermon is at http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/2514/archbishops-sermon-at-st-pauls-for-national-service-of-thanksgiving

More boats and rain…